Sherman "Preacher" Dudley

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Preacher preparing to kill the sharkYou ate my bird!

Sherman Dudley, better known as Preacher, is the chef and the deuteragonist in the 1999 film Deep Blue Sea.

He is portrayed by LL Cool J.


At Aquatica, a remote former submarine refueling facility converted into a laboratory, a team of scientists is searching for a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Unknown to the other scientists, Dr. Susan McAlester violates a code of ethics and genetically engineers three Mako sharks to increase their brain capacity so their brain tissue can be harvested as a cure for Alzheimer's, but this causes the side effects to make the sharks smarter, faster, and more dangerous.

After one of the sharks escapes and attacks a boat full of teenagers, Aquatica's financial backers send corporate executive Russell Franklin to investigate the facility. To prove that the research is working, the team manages to remove brain tissue from the largest shark. While examining it, Dr. Jim Whitlock, one of the researchers, is attacked by the shark and his arm is bitten off.

Brenda Kerns, the tower's operator, calls a helicopter to evacuate Jim but a strong hurricane causes the helicopter to lose control and crashes into the tower, killing Brenda and the pilots. One of the sharks uses Jim's body as a battering ram to smash an underwater window, flooding the research facility and freeing the other sharks. Susan then confesses to the others that she genetically altered the sharks.

Susan, Russell, Carter Blake, Janice Higgins and Tom Scoggins make their way to the top of the center. While delivering a dramatic speech emphasizing the need for group unity, Russell is dragged into the moon pool by the largest shark and devoured.

While climbing up the industrial elevator, a ladder falls and gets wedged between the walls of the shaft, leaving them dangling over the water. Janice loses her grip and falls, and despite Carter's attempts to save her, she is devoured. Meanwhile, the cook, Sherman "Preacher" Dudley is attacked by the first shark who eaten his pet bird, but manages to blow it up by throwing a lighter into the kitchen's oven that had been turned on, avenging his pet bird. He then runs into Carter, Tom and Susan.

Traumatized by Janice and Russell's deaths, Tom goes with Carter to the flooded lab because the controls to open a door to the surface are in the lab. The largest shark attacks them and Tom is devoured. Susan heads into a room to collect her research. The second shark follows and almost eats her but she manages to electrocute it with a power cable, killing it instantly, though at the cost of destroying her research in the process.

Carter, Susan and Preacher go to the top of the research center through a decompression chamber and swim to the surface. Preacher is caught by the third shark and is dragged through the water, but swims to safety after stabbing the shark in the eye with his crucifix, forcing it to release him.

Carter then realizes that the third shark is trying to escape to the open sea, and that the sharks had made them inadvertently flood the facility so that they could escape through the weaker mesh fences at the surface. Susan, in an effort to distract the third and final shark, cuts herself and dives into the water. When she attempts to climb out, the ladder breaks, and she is devoured by the shark. Carter at this point had dived in to try and save her but was too late. Managing to dodge the shark's attack and grab hold of its fin, he is pulled through the water with it.

Preacher, despite his injuries, grabs hold of the harpoon and shoots the shark through its dorsal fin but the spear also goes through Carter's thigh. As the shark breaks through the fence, Carter is still attached to the shark by the harpoon and tells Preacher to connect the trailing wire to a car battery, sending an electric current through the wire and to the explosive charge in the harpoon, blowing up the final shark in a spectacular fashion.

It is revealed that Carter managed to free himself in time and he swims to the wreckage of the facility and joins Preacher in time to see the workers' boat en-route on the horizon.


  • Preacher was originally to be killed, but test audiences liked him too much. 

See Also

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